Social activist Shabnam Hashmi returns National Minority Rights Award over ‘lynchings’

It comes nearly two years after an episode where a number of authors, filmamkers and scientists had returned national awards in the wake of the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh's Dadri over rumours of beef consumption.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: June 27, 2017 7:55 pm
shabnam hashmi, National Minority Award, award wapsi, lynching, junaid, National Commission for Minorities, Gayorul Hasan Rizvi Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, human rights campaigner and sister of slained communist playwright Safdar Hashmi, shows her National Minority Award during a news conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. Hashmi returned the Award conferred upon her in protest against the incidents of mob lynching of innocent minority community people. (PTI Photo)

Noted social activist Shabnam Hashmi returned the National Minority Rights Award on Tuesday, protesting against the recent mob lynchings, the latest being that of a Muslim teenager near the national capital.

Hashmi, who was conferred the award in 2008, said the National Commission for Minorities, which confers the award, has “lost all its credibility” and hit out at the chairperson of the body over his “condemnable statements”. NCM chairperson Gayorul Hasan Rizvi recently courted controversy saying those who cheered Pakistan’s victory in the Champions Trophy final against India should be “deported” to that country.

“I return the National Minority Rights Award, which has lost all its credibility, in protest against the consistent attacks and killings of the members of the minority communities and total inaction, apathy and tacit support to the violent gangs by the government,” Hashmi wrote in a letter to the commission.

It comes nearly two years after an episode where a number of authors, filmamkers and scientists had returned national awards in the wake of the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri over rumours of beef consumption.

Earlier, she visited the commission and handed over the award and the citation to its Director TM Skaria. Hashmi said she tried contacting Rizvi as well but he was not available. The award carried no cash component before 2011 and used to come with a citation. However, in 2011 the Minority Affairs Ministry approved a proposal to attach a cash component of Rs 2 lakh (individuals) and Rs 5 lakh (organisations).

The citation that Hashmi was given lauded her work in Gujarat after the 2002 riots and also in Kashmir. It also mentioned that her work invoked the “wrath of divisive forces”, leading to physical attacks as well.

It is given to an individual or an organisation every year on Minorities Rights Day on December 18 for outstanding contribution to promote and protect the rights of minorities over a period of time. In 2013, there was a controversy when the award was given to Father Ajay Kumar Singh for his campaign against the 2002 Kandhamal riots in Odisha. The state government had objected to the decision.

Earlier this month, Hashmi had stepped down as the trustee of ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy), an NGO founded by her. The foreign funding license of the NGO was cancelled by the home ministry in December last year citing “undesirable activities against public interest.”

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  1. Nagar Iyer
    Jun 29, 2017 at 3:03 pm
    Ask her to return the CASH AWARD too, if any, given with this CITATION, with INTEREST, at the rate of 12 PER CENT PER ANNUM
    1. R
      Jun 29, 2017 at 2:28 pm
      She is true Khandani Chamcha. Had she dared to oppose the mai baap sarkaar when 3 lakh Kashmiri minorities were kicked out of their motherland? Now trying to give every criminal incident happening anywhere in the country a communal tone.
      1. Chandu Shah
        Jun 29, 2017 at 1:07 pm
        Who cares. These troublemakers should not have any awards
        1. P
          Jun 29, 2017 at 11:11 am
          1. H
            Jun 30, 2017 at 8:22 pm
            Oh yeah, really. The awards themselves had pushed these people in darkness.
          2. R
            Jun 29, 2017 at 2:16 am
            First teh award was given by Sonia for her services to congress in tarnishing Hindus and nationalist ndians. Like Teesta Javed, this lady also was a paid agent of congress/communist traitors living off tax money as government grants by UPA to do islamist propaganda. In fact BJP government should cancel and rescind all types of awards/grants/honor given in between 2004-2014 as have a fresh look/revies of teh background of all such people with IB/RAW help. In fact these awards flag their dubious role in anti-India activities during Sonia rule with her approval.
            1. L
              Jun 29, 2017 at 11:04 am
              It was India darkest chapter . Patriots were jailed and anti nationals termites were awarded.
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